Badham Kheer



I learned to make Badham Kheer from my mother. Its an easy sweet drink to make that works for many occasions. Life has been so busy lately, my father in law is visiting me and Shankar and Gopi are in the thick of school already. Appa has taken a major demotion from senior executive to taxi driver, ferrying his sons back and forth from school!

I always have the most interesting conversations with my father-in-law, and one of our favorite subjects is that of the arranged marriage. People are always fascinated to know that my father-in-law and my father arranged the marriage between Shankar and myself. Growing up in Canada I expected to meet someone on my own, date them, and get married. The idea of arranged marriage was not nearly as accepted in the mainstream as it is today. It seemed archaic, 0ppressive, and wholly unromantic. My father would tell me that I would one day go from his home to my husband's home, which would frustrate me to no end as an independent career minded young woman. I felt that my opinion, or my expectations of equal partnership, romance, understanding and acceptance would never be fulfilled by the groom chosen by my parents. All of this for the simple reason that I felt my parents did not understand me, a typical thought of a young adult anywhere in the world. Add to this that my upbringing in Toronto was completely different from that of my parents who grew up in Madras. I was growing up in a society that I felt they didn't understand the pressures of. The stereotypical impression of arranged marriages is one where the bride and groom have very little say in the matter, but todays concept of arranged marriages has changed so much in North America it has become nothing more than an arranged 'blind' date by the boy and girls parents.

It is only now after marriage that I can understand every single one of my parents sentiments which infuriated me as I fought the arranged marriage process. I wanted fireworks. I hated being set up with family friends whom I had known since childhood and never felt anything for. Somehow the search for the perfect man was hindered with all the restrictions placed on potential matches; brahmin, iyer, brahacharanam, non-lohitha gothra, masters degree, tamil, etc etc etc. It began to feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. Once my parents convinced me to set up my profile on the internet the alliances came flooding in. Amongst all my girlfriends going through the same process the question of the moment became, "How do you know he is the one?.

I see my friends who are still unmarried, and compare them to my friends who are married. I have a feeling in many cases the two groups can be described as those who have accepted that reality is not perfect, and those still searching for the illusion of perfection. Marriage is about accepting each others flaws and appreciating your life partner for who they are. I think it was ironic that while I was in the process, I was seeking perfection yet expecting the men I met to accept my flaws.

At the end of the day I am very happy I ended up choosing family, culture, and lifestyle as important factors to base a marriage on. My father in law appreciated the badham kheer I made for him, the recipe taught to me by my mother. Its a wonderful feeling that I never anticipated to be part of the equation of marriage. I probably knew Shankar was the one even before I met him, the moment of knowledge being when I met his family and felt comfortable amidst them.

I pose the question to you dear readers, how did you all know he was the one?

Badham Kheer - serves 4
1 cup of almonds, 2.5 cups of milk, 1/2 cup of sugar, a pinch of saffron

1. Soak the almonds in hot water for 10 minutes. The skins should snap off easily, peel them.
2. Grind the almonds, with the milk.
3. Simmer the almond mixture for about 15 minutes, and then add the sugar mix until the sugar melts.
4. Garnish with a pinch of saffron.



Badham Kheer Recipes
Hare Krishna's

39 comments:

SS said...

Hi,chanced upon your blog and ended up spending some time here .. lovely space you have going here :)

Nags said...

beeeeyooootiful pic, the first one, Kanch!

My mom makes this when we have family get togethers. Elegant, yet simple :)

bhags said...

i second nags about the pics, really beautiful....
bout the question, I got married into a different culture and it took me sometime to accept the differnces and the mind set...but I was aware of these hurdles and still i went ahea coz thats what seemed the right thing to do

lakshmi said...

these have to be your best pics - ok, so may be i am a little biased because its badam kheer. my amma has this compulsive need to cook payasam for any special occassion - and i insist that she make badam kheer, the only payasam that i like.

i got married over a year back when i least expected i'd get married. both my parents and i were very comfortable with satish and his family - it dint feel like we were interacting with strangers. there was just no reason to say "no".

the concept of arranged marriages in india pretty much works like "blind date" - and there is typically a courtship period of 6 months between engagement and marriage. this gives enough time to get to stage where to come to love a person - and adore even those little flaws.

bee said...

kanchana, thanks for linking jugalbandi. your FIL is a lucky man to have you as a DIL. as for how i knew J was the one for me, i went to visit him - just as a friend - dozed off, and woke up to the aroma of banana bread from the only cookbook either of us owned (he owned it). a cute, very sharp, funny guy who can bake bread - what more can one ask for?

Suganya said...

Intuition! Thats what I say to all my unmarried friends. You just feel. There are no rules at all.

My marriage with G was also a blind date arranged by our parents. But, the very first conversation was enuf to decide that he was the one for me. And, Am so glad I did :)

Rachna said...

Hi Kanch.. your badam kheer is looking sooo yum... i'm adding it to my list of nutty things to make on my recent post...

I was all ready for my parents to look for a groom for me... I also had my doubts of how they are going to find the perfect groom for me, but i was comfortable knowing that the final decision rested on me.... so they began their search.

when I met M for the first time, I felt like Ive known him from before sometime...which wasnt possible bcoz i was meeting him for the first time.... he became my closest friend .... and at the time even chose the pictures I should send to prospective proposals/'rishtas'... day by day we became so close that...he would say wat I was thinking ... and I would hear him before he spoke... we didnt need more reason to decide to spend the rest of our lives togethor...

(all arranged proposals were abandoned and it became a love marriage ....heee)... you just know it in yur heart i guess

Shyam said...

When I was a kid my grandma used to make this and we cousins simply LOVED it! Only, I thought it was "dadangir" and would keep asking for it. My kind cousins didnt correct this because it provided them with so many laughs, so it was a while before I realised that it was "badam kheer". :D LOVE to drink this cold, like a thickshake.

Timepass said...

Kheer looks very yummy Kanchana. And so simple to make also.

Asha said...

You are far more mature for your age girl! You know how a marriage works so well already!:))
Arvind and I are together since we were teenagers 16 and 18yr olds. We still treat each other like teenagers sometimes which becomes a problem after 20yrs of marriage!:P
Badam Kheer looks yum, enjoy.

Latha Narasimhan said...

Beautiful pictures kanchana! Any day Badam milk is both nutritious and tasty!:))

Sia said...

beautiful pics and recipe kanch...
coming to your Q..i guess its just a sixth sense or intution... i couldn't find a reason to say 'no' although i tried very hard... even if i had a small doubt abt if he is the right person, i dont have any after 1 and half yrs of our married life :)

Sandeepa said...

A very nice read. Like you I was very apprehensive of arranged marriage too and did not have an arranged one.

But now I think after several years of staying together it doesn't really matter how you started off

Pooja V said...

Firstly Your badam kheer looks amazingly delicious.
They say oppasites attarct n i guess thats wht did the trick for us. We still r trying to find the common tings between us n it doesnt really matter coz we still hv matching wavelength.

IBH said...

i have been lurking a lot in this space..never commented though....but ur question on 'the one' made me comment..u know am a tam bram married to a mallu nair.....not in my wildest dream did i think that i will be ending up in a nair household...to be very very honest about the answer, u will never know that he is the one..to know a man to be the one, u shuld have tried and tested many waters..but that is not possible in reality....

u know u are comfortable with THAT person, when he is around....u miss him the most when compared to all ur friends....u know u can lead a normal life with him,......then u know he is the one....but not THE ONE....u make him THE ONE in due course of time..when u live beyond certain number of years, when you know u can NOT live without him then yes, he becomes THE ONE....

not sure if i made any sense here at all :) but i feel....I am now married to THE ONE :)

Mishmash ! said...

the food and the article is equally interesting.....fully surprised to know about your side of the story...i have a fridge magnet which says, "happiness is being married to ur best friend" and I am lucky I married my best friend itself ....though that said, let me tell u, my parents had an arrange marriage and they re role model for many which made me believe that best friends evolve out of arranged marriage too..!! Real life...real love perhaps starts when two different people stay together under one roof understanding each other and thats the most imp thing, I think :)


Shn
P.S I guess the comment above mine makes some sense...atleast to me :)

Richa said...

aah! badam kheer... my fav!
urs looks delicious....

Happy cook said...

It was really nice to read your post. Especially where you have written accepting eachothers flaws.

Hey if i was you FIL , i would be also very happy to get the kheer.
When ever i come to you blog and see your pic, i always say in my mind this is a very loving sweet girl.

Jyothsna said...

The badam kheer and the story brought a smile to my face, coz this is what we prepared when my husband and inlaws had come home the first time after we were engaged! :) I got married to my best friend but today, somehow it doesn't matter how it all began. So long as there is love, understanding, and trust, I know that he was always the one!

Padma said...

That looks out of this world Kanchana, I like badams... My Dad used to crush almonds and put in in hot milk and savour us with all his love. He wanted her girls to be strong :)Now u can see how much energy I have ;)

And now coming to the arrange marriages, if I start telling my story , that will be one big post, to cut the long story short, ours was arranged - rejected- love-arranged marriage where I am glad that We both share common grounds

Meeta said...

Looks great Kanch! Love it and the pics look great!

Latha said...

Great pictures Kanch.
Lovely read.
Me and my husband had an arranged marriage too. Not expected, especially knowing my personality! All my friends were wondering if i was nuts. I really did not do much thinking then - its actually going to be 10 years since we were married. My only 3 crazy criteria were: looks ok, can speak good english and has a good voice! Go figure! In fact i only saw his pictures and did not see him until 10 days before the wedding.
You're right, marriage is a lot of understanding and compromises. But we've come a long way, and i would not do it any other way all over again!

Roopa(KitchenAromas) said...

Lovely pictures Kanch! And a great write up too. I guess my understanding of arranged marriages improves by the day. In short, arranging marriages is matching fundamentals and upbringing of the girl and the boy (from a core values perspective) which is very logical if you think about it. Worked for me! :)

Superchef said...

nice post!! i am soon gonna get married to someone i found myself...wut u said is very true..the family, culture n lifestyle are very important...i feel i looked into all of these frm the point of view of how i wanted my life to be and what ive had in life so far...glad that they have blended well so far.. n i hope im right about it!! :)

Superchef said...

oops...forgot to mention abt the badam keer...ive got a sweet tooth and this is already making my mouth water...about to go for lunch now and i hope the cafeteria at office has something similar!! else im planning to drag my colleague to Sri Krishna Sweets after lunch!!! LOL...

A kitchen scientist & a white rat hubby!!! said...

excellent snaps!!!!

Sharmi said...

lovely pics. very rich and delicious looking.

Cilantro said...

Hi Kanchana,

I am a new kid in this blog and my bolg is still in construction. You have a wonderful Blog here. Beautiful pictures and your recipies are good too. I have tried your rava iddly - fantastic.
Keep it up.

Arun Shanbhag said...

kanchana:
Nice reading your thoughts about the arranged marriage. I'll ditto it from the boys side!
But with M beside me, I wouldn't want it any other way!

When I see my single friends now, I sense a sadness in their eyes - like they are in a race to somewhere and not going to make it. I wish I could just wave my hand and make them all happy!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Arun
www.arunshanbhag.com

Vaishnavi said...

Hi ! I am Vaishnavi , nice blog you have set up ! Lovely pics, and nice perspectives.

I had a love marriage myself, we met in school, yep ! When we were 16 and somehow made it thru all the transistions of college, work, distances etc and here we are married today for 3.5 yrs now ! Neither of us are perfect, but we enjoy each other's imperfections I guess, so its working out well. :) !

Keep posting new stuff... Cheers

Anonymous said...

Yummy picture. Tried it and it came out very well.

Mine is an arranged marriage. I am lucky to get R as my husband. Both of us know each other's strengths and weaknesses; Life is all about accepting people as they are and most important enjoying the discrepancies.

mysara said...

Hi ur badam kheer is looking yammy gonna prepare one and have right away.

And about ur Question : Ours was typically an arranged marriage. both of our parents were willing to get us married. but we were not feeling comfortable. some how we both have convinced our parents not to go for this and they eventually dropped the idea. its after 2 yrs both of our families again decided to get us married bcas for them they were not as convinced as this proposal for their child. we both were still not comfortable but still we were pushed to get married and we also got married. its after that we realized we are making a fantastic pair. initial misunderstandings were all bcas we both were not projecting wat we are actually in inner self. the one similar char of both are we take time to move free with anyone initially. As our life started with no expectations now every small good thing in him seems very exciting for me and vice versa. its like we are exploring a new each other of us. I dont know how to tag this as destiny or coincidence, or understanding or GOD's decision....

wat ever it is every happening in life has something more for us to learn from it than wat we assume :)

marriedtoadesi.com said...

Well said all of you!!!

canadiandesi said...

Hello... was actually visiting this blog looking for a recipe, but ultimately, started poking around and enjoyed reading some of your non-food related comments!

I think I have kind of had a similar upbringing as yours, and its really nice to read your thoughts... Cheers!

LK said...

Hi Kanchana,
I just stumbled upon this post while googling kheer recipes and HAD to comment. First of all, the pictures on your site are fantastic!

On to the question...I actually "met" my husband when I was 10 and he 13, in Singapore (I grew up there), when he came on a trip with his family...hehehe...no, no, no love at first sight...quite the opposite - we constantly bugged each other. Then we met again when I was 13, when my family emigrated to Toronto. We continued to spar with each other for a while, but became friends along the way, and realized we were in "love" by the time I was 16 (could have been the hormones...who knows...). Young love was not an easy journey, and we constantly argued/fought over silly things for the next 10 years through all our schooling, but kept coming back to each other because I think we really were best friends who couldn't be without the other. And now, we've been married for a couple of years...so, how did I know he was the one? When I realized that I was a actually a better person when I was with him than when I was not...

Oh yeah, so I'm a fellow Torontonian (but transplated to the US temporarily). Please do check out my blog, www.palatedesires.blogspot.com (it's still in its infancy).

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Accidentally hit your blog.Can't agree more on what you said about arranged marriage.I was all you said what you were minus one important factor "WISDOM" which my parents had which they had it from their parents etc.
All I had was a 26 yrs of existence and experience when I was ready for marriage and certainly my elders knew more.

Rak said...

Hi there!!!
I chanced upon your blog when I was searching for Badam kheer. I'm going to try this recipe soon :)

coming to your interesting narration:Although, I agree that arranged marriages ensure similar customs and cultures/beliefs, I don't think people go in for arranged marriages based on only these factors. Its more like they want a person settled(Read Green card) in US or some other foreign country, educated with a master's degree abroad, above average looks. It is not wrong to expect all this but is hypocracy to say that the couple is getting married only for the sake of similar caste/family or whatever. This is what arrranged marriage looks to me apart from the fact that the similar beliefs.

I am so proud of my husband,myself and our marriage. The reason being I did not marry him coz he has a fancy master's degree(he does not even have a master's degree; he is a bachelor in Engg degree holder) or coz he was abroad(we dated in the orthodox city of chennai!!) or coz he parents/family owned flashy cars. He is a Tamil Iyer and I am an iyengar. We married each other and had nothing 'fancy' about each other except our personalities. I am so proud that we have acheived almost everything that these so-called-blind-dates(huh!!!) couples have. Yes,We got an oppurtunity to go the United States soo after our marriage and now we are on our way settling here.
I am not ridiculing the feelings of everyone who has written here, just trying to say that there can be a great life without an arranged marriage too.
Coming to the question, Yes I knew that this guy was definitely of my wavelength but only after marriage of a couple of years or so we realized that we are for each other.
BTW, you look very similar to my cousin sis(an Iyer too!!) and on a first look I thought that it was her.
Awaiting your thoughts :)

Raks said...

I just realized that my comment needs to be approved before appearing on ur blog. I'm waiting to see if it is going to be approved or not :)

Kavitha said...

Awesome looking kheer kanchana. I did make badam burfi but not the kheer yet.. soon will give it a try!